April 4, 2009

An atoll:
Not quite land & not quite sea, but a union of the two, a gift to the sailor in an azure jewel-box surrounded by immensity.
        - Jean Bluche, Chimère

More rain in the night - had to get up & close the snarps with the gusty wind throwing water everywhere.

Shrimp omelet & BB's homemade bread for breakfast, then we went exploring with snorkeling gear. I wanted to swim at a karena; BB wanted to visit the far motu; we both wanted to try the new speargun.

We stopped at a small white-sand motu to take the requisite cartwheel photo. Tried to get a pic of the blue-bellied terns, but you just hafta see it in real life. The farthest motu was coral instead of sand, although it appears equally white from afar. We walked all around it disturbing one noddy who had her nest there. I walked out to the reef since there was something of a sidewalk (as opposed to jumbled coral, which is much harder to walk on). Was hoping to find more sea biscuits, but only found 3 buoys which BB collected for Calixte. Found a few pretty shells, but someone sleeps there (there's a wind break, a fire pit, & a cleared space), so it's more cleaned up than I expected.

We could see a karena a half mile away, so we headed there. It was multiple large coral heads & smaller pieces, creating a prettier formation than the ones that are more uniformly round. Water clarity was good, but the surface was very choppy, so we dove a lot. I didn't realize the camera batteries were dying, so continued to take pics the whole time & a lovely movie of a highly varied group of fish (including moorish idols) but got only the first 2 pics. Darn!

After looking at all the pretty fishies, we tried to kill one. We used team strategics, with me chasing a school of eating-sized parrotfish around a coral head behind which BB was hiding, but we got nada. I tried shooting a few times, but I can't load the gun without a weight belt on - hurts my ribs too much. We tried until we were both exhausted & cold, then returned home & defrosted the last piece of tuna we bought nearly 2 weeks ago. It was a bit fishy, but BB made some nice Asian veggies with the last of our cabbage & carrot. We're down to one small tomato & an end of radish. Not much, but BB is still churning out good meals every day nonetheless. And eating banana bread for dessert on deck under the stars, dripping flax seeds everywhere, is a real joy. Boy are we lucky.

says ADR